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10 Tips for Productive Scrum Standups: Improve Your Scrum Meetings

scrum_meetingSince Agile and Scrum revolutionized the software industry, the daily Scrum meeting has become a ritual in the lives of many teams. Daily Scrum meetings should be organized to energize and motivate the team.

You might think it is easy to quickly go through tasks in 15 minutes. But there are several common problems that plague the Scrum meetings of many teams. If your Scrum meetings are not held on a regular basis and if certain rules are not observed, the meeting can quickly become a semi-informal session that deals with urgent matters while making it impossible for the team to focus on the bigger goals.

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10 Tips for Productive Scrum Standups:

1. The daily Scrum meeting should be held in the morning to help team members set priorities for the day.

2. Have your team members answer the following 3 simple questions. This helps overview the progress made, and enables the prioritization of tasks:

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What are you going to do today?
  • Is there anything that stops or hinders you in your work?

3. Some special problems can’t be solved at the Scrum meeting. But the meeting will give all your team members a platform to share best practices and ideas, helping them overcome future issues independently.

4. If the team discusses obstacles and challenges from the perspective of their work, they might feel motivated to solve it quickly. Make sure you point out how any emerging problems relate to the work of other team members.

5. Scrum meetings should be held at the same time each day, and rescheduled only if it is absolutely necessary. This helps the team to develop a sense of ownership to the meeting and makes it easier to get into the habit of standups.

6. Scrum meetings should be kept short. We mean this! Long meetings kill focus and the supportive atmosphere. Give all your team members a limited amount of time to share their progress and questions, and stick to it.

7. Most people dislike reporting to an “appointed” leader, and it also goes against the basic principles of Agile. Changing leadership from meeting to meeting can encourage team members to speak their minds.

8. Along those lines: team members should always be encouraged to share and communicate. An effective team can only be built by working together for the same goal and helping each other to overcome obstacles.

9. We recommend using a Kanban board to help team members visualize daily tasks and set priorities.

10. The Product Owner should only attend the meeting if the team feels comfortable with it. Otherwise, the Scrum Master (or Team Leader) should transform the Owner's feedback into tasks, and keep him or her updated outside of the meeting. While you don't want to isolate the Product Owner, there's no need to micromanage each and every task.

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